Roschelle McKenzie has no regrets about pursuing her dreamsMonday, May 07, 2012
By CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON All Woman writer email@example.com
TODAY Roschelle McKenzie is a wife, mother, author and a motivational speaker, but there was a time when her life was less than satisfying.
McKenzie, on her first visit back to Jamaica in years,,, to promote her Christian romance novel Night Before Dawn, was the picture of confidence and deep contentment when she spoke with All Woman last week. She told of walking away from a well-paying job to pursue her dream, calling it the best thing she has ever done.
And even though there are still challenges, as that decision now comes with its financial drawbacks and ups and downs, she has no regrets, and says she would easily do it again without a second thought.
McKenzie was once working as a senior manager for a high-rise luxury apartment building.
"Although it paid well, it wasn't my passion; it was just a mundane job," she shared.
After consulting with her husband, she threw in the towel and went after her dream — that of giving inspirational talks and writing.
"You should never be afraid to pursue your dreams. Don't allow fear to paralyse your purpose. Don't let lack of resources dictate that you can't," said the author, who after making that bold move sometimes had to hold up the bills to the heavens and say, "God, you've got mail!'
McKenzie said that since she has taken that bold step, she has had good days and some challenging ones, but not once has she ever regretted it.
However, she will be the first to admit that there has been days when she questions her faith.
"When I am going through those moments when nothing seems to be happening -- no speaking engagements, no book signings and the bills are there to be paid, it's a challenge maintaining my faith and trusting God," she shared.
But she overcomes those doubts by reminding herself of God's faithfulness and promise to always take care of His children.
Hailing from Portmore, St Catherine, McKenzie migrated to New York shortly after leaving St Cecelia Preparatory School in the late 80s.
While attending high school, she started journaling, and it was this hobby that furnished the desire to write a book.
"I didn't just want to talk about writing a book, but I wanted to actually do it," said the mother of a three-year-old son.
Between her speaking engagements and finding time to work on her books, McKenzie stressed the importance of maintaining a balance.
"I set aside quality time for my son and husband. Every career woman has to find that balance, but it helps when you have a supportive partner," she said.
Her book, Night Before Dawn, is an inspirational novel about a young woman's struggle "to find peace in the centre of tragedy, new life in the midst of loss, and forgiveness in the heart of betrayal".
The story "boasts of God's amazing ability to restore broken relationships that have fallen into the trap of lies, lust and betrayal, in a way that only God can", the synopsis reads.
"It's a Christian book, but not preachy; it's tasteful drama that inspires, encourages and literally breathes hope into someone's hopeless situation," said McKenzie of the novel which is available in Jamaica at all Kingston Bookshop outlets.
For McKenzie, it's more than writing for her; her aspiration is to use her gift to glorify God.
She said she hopes to use her Christian novels to minister hope and healing to the broken-hearted and to reach "the lost and backslidden" for Jesus Christ.
Admitting that she at one time strayed from the fold after migrating to the States, she said she "dabbled heavily in the devil's playground, rebounding from boys to parties, to experimenting with alcohol and illicit drugs", but she had a wake up call.
After becoming "spiritually bankrupt and lifeless", her new lifeline came when she discovered she was two months' pregnant, out of wedlock, and like the Prodigal Son, she came to her senses and made the decision to return "home" to the church, where she was welcomed back with love and open arms.
On the horizon for the author and speaker are two more novels -- the sequel to Night Before Dawn entitled After the Dawn, and A beautiful Vengeance.